Once in a while we analyze websites in real time during our SEMrush Chat. We pick a site and then evaluate it with our chat guests.
Last week, we were happy to host another real-time website analysis session. We chose to analyze GameShrooms.com, a gaming news portal. Our chat participants shared what they like and don’t like about this website, and included their tips on what can be done to improve its online performance.
Creating a site that will stand out from the rest and help you achieve your business goals can be quite challenging. The tips and insights from this post can be useful for many companies that fail to attract and retain website visitors and convert them into leads.
Let’s get started.
Q1: At first glance, what is one thing you would definitely change on GameShrooms.com?
To start, we asked our chat participants to visit GameShrooms.com and tell us what should be changed on the website.
First of all, many of our guests pointed out that it’s difficult to understand what product or service this company offers.
The problem is, this website doesn’t have a clear focus. The site seems to be somehow related to games. But does it sell video games online? Or is it a reviews site or an online gaming platform? When asked our chat guests what they would change about the site, ThinkSEM @ThinkSEM responded: “Besides everything? I think this site needs some focus. I have zero clue what's going on.”
Lisa Radin believes that this website seems to appeal to someone, but it’s difficult to say to whom in particular. The company lacks a clear personality. A company or brand’s personality is a set of emotional and associative characteristics that are connected with it.
She mentioned that the white space on this website is misused. Also, there isn’t a lot of information about the company on its “About Us” page. First of all, the “About Us” page serves one purpose - to tell your visitors who you are and what you can do for them to make their lives better.
Another important element of any website is page load time. A fast site speed provides a good user experience, while a slow website speed can negatively impact your site’s UX.
Nicholas Coriano visited the mobile version of this website and said that it was difficult to figure out the purpose of the tabs at the top of the page.
These tabs are misleading; people don’t know what purpose they serve. It turns out that if you click on the tabs, you will be redirected to a page with game reviews for different video game consoles, like PlayStation, Xbox, and PC.
Let’s see what we have so far.
Our chat guests believe that the owners of GameShrooms.com should speed up their website, change its design, make the site’s purpose clearer and use the space more rationally to name a few things.
Q2: How could the site’s owners improve the user's journey on their desktop website?
Your website should be an integral component of your digital marketing strategy. But your site will contribute to the success of your business only if it’s well-crafted and if it delivers important information effectively and quickly.
In a nutshell, a user’s journey is the path they must take to reach their goal when interacting with your website. Our chat participants shared their thoughts on how GameShrooms can improve its user journey on the desktop version of its site. Below we listed five tips on how they can do it.
1. Give users a path to follow
Your new website visitors should have a clear path when navigating your site. For example, their end destination might be your most popular posts. By guiding your users to your best posts, you should peak their interest. This will encourage your visitors to follow a specific path through your site and gives you the power to control their experience.
2. Lessen the clickable items
Joe Martinez also pointed out that there’re too many options for users to click on this website. He recommended reducing the number of clickable items. Too many links on a webpage can frustrate a user and lead to their indecision, or even cause them to leave a page.
3. Provide a descriptive tagline
Whether it’s a product, a service, a business, or an idea, a good tagline offers comprehensive information that can be easily grasped and remembered. No matter if the tagline is humorous, inspirational or serious, it should be descriptive, simple, and informative. The GameShrooms website doesn’t have a clear purpose. By providing a descriptive tagline, the company will tell its visitors who they are and what their purpose is.
4. Perform A/B testing
If the website has enough visitors, the site owners can perform an A/B test. By analyzing two versions of their webpage, they can understand which of them is more effective and helps them achieve their goals. For example, they can A/B test different elements in their content strategy, like headlines, calls to action, and images.
5. Improve the way you showcase your content
The way you showcase your content on your webpage also influences your site’s user experience. Andrew Peron recommended that the website’s owners reduce the size of their article headings, increase the length of their post excerpts and ensure the excerpts don’t truncate in the middle of a sentence, as they do currently.
Also, they could highlight their greatest content to foster engagement. By keeping their popular articles front and center they can attract and intrigue their new visitors.
Check out a few other answers in the following recap.
For now, this website offers its visitors too many options. Instead, GameShrooms should give its users a specific path to follow and clearly communicate the site’s purpose.
Q3: What website features did you like and would suggest that GameShrooms.com utilize more?
Even though there are several things that should be improved on this website, it definitely has some strengths. We asked our chat guests to name effective website features that the company should further leverage.
Here’s what they liked about this site.
Social buttons. GameShrooms has social networking buttons on top of its webpage. In fact, social media is one of the main online activities people take part in. Social media follow buttons promote your company’s presence on various social networks. By placing these buttons on your site, you can create more visibility for your social media accounts.
Images. Many of our guests mentioned that they liked the images on this website. “Graphics and visuals – if we're talking about gaming and games, then this is an attractive feature,” said Zala Bricelj @ZalkaB. Joe Martinez suggested utilizing other images to make it absolutely clear that this website is about gaming.
Color. Also, our chat participants liked the usage of color on the site – the colored tags in particular. Nevertheless, Traffic Jam Media @trafficjammedia suggested that excerpts should also be used to make it clear what the articles are about.
The way the website is organized. Kiyo believes that the website is organized well. But the owners should still work its design. A well-designed site is more aesthetically pleasing to visitors.
Also, Dipali Thakkar pointed out that the site has no pop-up banners, which we see on many websites these days.
Among the most often mentioned features of a successful website are color-coded tags, visuals, and social icons.
Q4: How would you rate the mobile website on a scale from 1 to 10 and why?
The next thing we asked everyone to rate was the mobile version of GameShoorms.com on a scale from one to ten. On average, this website scored five points.
Let’s see how the website’s owners can improve their site’s score.
One of the main reasons why the site’s mobile version scored only five points or even less is its slow load speed. “It takes ages to load even over fast Wi-Fi,” said David Rosam @writingforseo.
Sadly, 73 percent of mobile internet users report that they've encountered websites with a slow load speed. Today people are more impatient than ever. Nobody wants to sit and wait for a webpage to load – even if it only takes a few seconds – with so many interesting things available on other websites.
Zala Bricelj also mentioned that there are no contact details on this site. A phone number or an email address wouldn’t go amiss.
Joe Martinez gave the website only two points out of ten. Besides its slow load speed, its images are not optimized for mobile. Therefore, the first impression the site makes is not satisfactory. As the saying goes, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. You have to impress your new visitors if you want them to visit your site via their mobile devices.
Kristen Dunleavy noticed that their top posts are outdated – the articles were posted in February, March, and April, and there aren’t any fresh posts among their most popular articles. Kristen pointed out that, in the gaming industry, a few months equals years.
Dawn Anderson agreed that the site’s mobile user experience isn’t great. Visitors have to scroll sideways and fill out a captcha. All these things can compel users to immediately leave a website.
However, some of our chat participants felt a bit more favorably toward the website. CoSchedule gave GameShrooms seven points. After all, we did notice some really good features on this website. Nevertheless, there’s still room for improvement.
Let’s sum up!
The average score for the mobile version of this website is five. But the site’s owners can improve it by using the above-mentioned tips.
Q5: What creative link-building/link-earning techniques should GameShrooms.com use?
At the end of our chat, we decided to discuss what creative link-earning techniques the website’s owners should use in order to improve their site’s online performance.
Thanks to our chat guests, we collected five link-building techniques.
Find guest writers
Guest posting helps you earn backlinks and floods of referral traffic to your website. Therefore, many bloggers and publishers offer it on their blogs. You can find more insight in this ultimate guide to guest blogging published on Kissmetrics .
Nurture your social community
If you’re going to search for guest writers, there’s an important point to consider. Obviously, nobody wants to write for a blog that doesn’t have an active online community. Dipali Thakkar advised the website’s owners to build and nurture their social community. Having an active community would provide great advantages, like more comments and quality blog posts.
Dipali Thakkar also suggested creating video reviews on their site, sharing tips for cracking games and giving discount codes. This can significantly enlarge their audience and increase engagement.
Sponsor eSports and host giveaways
The popularity of eSports continues to grow. Electronic sports has long been a phenomenon in Asia, but in the last couple of years it has been booming in many other countries. Sponsoring eSports could provide GameShrooms with new opportunities to grow its audience. Also, it could try hosting giveaways, which has already proven to be a good marketing tactic. Many digital marketers create contests and giveaways to build links to their website and increase their traffic.
Produce roundup articles
A roundup article is a common tool in practically every writer’s toolbox. People enjoy reading roundup posts because they contain insights from many industry experts all in one place. When it comes to the gaming industry, you could create a post with the best games of 2016 or the best RPG games for PlayStation. These are just a few examples. It all depends on your creativity.
Find an influencer in the gaming industry
People listen to influencers and experts; they trust them and their recommendations. The website’s owners could try to find and reach out to a well-known expert in the gaming industry. By developing strong relationships with these experts and getting them to speak on behalf of their brand, the website’s owners could build credibility with their audience. Credibility leads to better search engine optimization, including new backlinks.
To sum up, our chat guests recommended finding influential gamers and guest writers, building and nurturing an online community, creating video reviews, generating roundup articles, sponsoring eSports and hosting giveaways.
And so we’ve analyzed yet another website together with the help of our chat participants. A big thanks to everyone who was kind enough to join us for our website analysis!
In fact, some of the common issues we discussed in this post appear on many websites. We hope that the tips from this chat recap will help you figure out if you have the same problems and how to fix them.